The National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) on June 30 awarded certifications to 46 additional individuals. This latest class of certificants brings the total number of credentialed green infrastructure workers recognized by the program to 108. NGICP is the first U.S.-wide initiative to build and recognize a workforce skilled in sustainable construction.
The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) last year partnered with DC Water (Washington, D.C.) and several water utilities across the U.S. to establish the program, which seeks to provide qualified talent for the growing number of in-demand jobs. Participants receive training on a green infrastructure construction, maintenance, and inspection curriculum conceived to meet international best practice standards. Then they sit for the certification exam. Certifications remain valid for 2 years.
The inaugural NGICP exam was held in December 2016, with a second exam in June 2017. The next class of NGICP trainees will undergo training this fall, and a third testing session will take place in November.
“The overwhelming interest in the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program has confirmed the need to train people to work in this growing segment of the water sector,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “Through the program we have a tremendous opportunity to promote the implementation of green infrastructure projects and develop a skilled workforce for the betterment of our communities, economy, and environment.”
Meeting a growing demand for sustainable skills
Currently, access to the NGICP is available only to select communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. By early 2018, program administrators expect to roll out the program across the U.S., providing certificate-holders proof of their skills across state lines.
More and more partner organizations — utilities and municipalities involved with creating the NGICP curriculum and hosting training sessions or tests — have signed onto the program since its creation. The latest list includes
- Boston Water and Sewer Commission (Mass.);
- Capital Region Water (Pa.);
- City of Baltimore Department of Public Works (Md.);
- Fairfax County (Va.);
- Kansas City Water Services Department (Mo.);
- Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (Ky.);
- Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (Ohio);
- Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Ill.);
- Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (Wis.);
- Montgomery County (Md.);
- New Orleans Delegation (La.);
- New York City Department of Environmental Protection;
- Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (Pa.); and
- San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (Calif.)
Housed under the WEF Stormwater Institute, a knowledge-sharing group comprised of the country’s leading stormwater management experts, the NGICP supports community-based job creation in U.S. cities and will serve as the first green infrastructure-focused workforce development program with a national scope.
“We are preparing a workforce for the jobs we know are coming to support green infrastructure projects here in the District of Columbia and across the nation,” said George Hawkins, CEO and general manager of DC Water. “Armed with the training and skills this program provides, these certificants will blaze a trail that many more will follow.”